A decade of Squid

This time tomorrow, Inigo will be asleep in his bed as a ten year old. His first decade on the planet will be complete.

Like all parents, I’m immensely proud. I can’t imagine what I’ve done to deserve the good fortune I’ve had in finding his father, and trust him enough to walk down the road to parenthood with him.

And to meet this amazing child.

This child who lived through in utero “wasting”, who was in significant distress at birth, and who lived.

This child who fought a kidney infection for months, who communicated the only way he knew how, by screaming, and screaming, and screaming. Who kept screaming until someone listened.

Who took the medical treatment with barely a whimper. Who endured, and out lasted, and eventually thrived. Who loved with an intensity that you could see in his eyes as a newborn. Hours old, and staring at the world as if daring it not to fall completely in love with him.

He didn’t crawl till he was sure he had the measure of it. Who waited to walk until he was almost 18 months old, and he decided that he had a reason to. Then two months later he counted five sultanas into my hand, but refused to give me a sixth. Was that the limit of his numbers? Or his generosity?

At 22 months, after yet another blood test, he grabbed my face with his two chubby hands and pulled me to him. “I love you mama”, he said to me, with that familiar, burning intensity.

At almost three he became a big brother. And then a brother to babies that didn’t get to come home. At three, he learned about death, and permanence, and fragility. He asked questions about why the doctors couldn’t save his brothers, and why the world was so unfair. His questions were the hardest part of every day. But he needed to know, and I needed him like I needed air.

At school he discovered intellectual walls. His reaction to having access to learning artificially limited was heartbreaking to watch. That’s when we started to really see that he had a different experience of the world than many of his peers. His need to know how, why, when, where, to climb inside and tinker, and to get to the essence of an idea wasn’t typical.

So we investigated. And found that his quirks have labels, and the labels have helped us find new pathways, and new acceptance of what is, and what can be.

Now he’s TEN. Ten years of questions, and exploring, and investigating and considering. Ten years of feeling everything as if life was turned up to 11. Ten years of sucking up knowledge, grasping for new ideas, inhaling experiences like his life depended on it.

My darling, sweet, kind, driven, passionate and loving little guy. Being mama to you has been the greatest privilege of my life.

Tomorrow is only the start of the next decade of awesomeness.



Responding to Bullies

Kid has been getting hassled at school for loving bunnies and rainbows and shiny things. We sat him down and discussed options for dealing with bullies.

1. Change.

By accepting that you are different and trying to fit in, the bullies win, and you’re miserable.

2. Tell the bullies to fuck off.

Metaphorically, of course. I wouldn’t condone swearing at School as a good means to an end. But a decent fuck you/fuck off/go fuck yourself requires a healthy dose of self esteem. So we checked.

Me – Do you know who you are?

Kid – Yes

Me – And do you think you are a good person? Are you kind, and clever, and respectful, and funny, and cool?

Kid – Yes

Me – And do you like yourself?

Kid – Yes

And this morning, when dressing for school, he wore the shiniest, rainbowiest outfit he could find, then added a rainbow umbrella, and decried the lack of rainbow glasses to complete the look.

My work here is done. Fuck you bullies.